Calling Dame Bradburys parents in and around Saffron Walden!!

(12 Posts)
luckyandconfused Mon 06-Jun-16 15:09:01

(Have been advised to start a new thread, so here goes!)

About to move to SW in the summer. Kids signed up to Dame B's. We haven't found a house yet! Are parents commuting a long way into the school? Would love a 5-bed but seems impossible if not spending silly money. Where does everyone live?!

If we move further out (Hempstead etc), then our worry is that we'll be out of catchment for County High later and we'd like to have that option.

Looking forward to move!

Greydove Mon 06-Jun-16 21:03:32

I have been told if you are out of town you are likely to be out of luck for a place at County High

Catherine26 Mon 06-Jun-16 21:44:42

We live in SW. Kids aren't at Dame B's though. You definitely won't get a place if you're not in SW for county high. There's a good Facebook group for sw if you wanted the link.

Perilla Tue 07-Jun-16 13:02:17

Not a chance of catchment for County High if you're not in town I suspect. The catchment is getting smaller every year, this year most of the villages outside didn't get in I believe. With all the development going on in town and no indication of County High expanding as far as I know that situation won't improve in the coming years.

If you're set on County High then you will have to settle for a smaller house I would imagine. To answer the Dame B's question, yes people come in from surrounding SW and I think that will continue to be the case especially as they now bus some of them in from Cambridge as part of the wider SPF set up.

Bellerophonpasta Tue 07-Jun-16 13:44:11

I'd say about 30% live in Saffron Walden, about 60 % in surrounding villages - within say a 10 mile radius - and the remaining 10 percent a little further afield. Some go on to the County High but the majority go the independent schools in the area, and a few to boarding schools. Occasionally some go on to the state schools in Bishops Stortford or one of the Cambridge village colleges. No one has gone to Newport (JFAN) for a while but it does happen occasionally.
This year children from Ashdon didn't get in to County High but Littlebury was ok. There are no guarantees. There is lots of new housing in SW itself if you want to be sure of a place.

luckyandconfused Tue 07-Jun-16 20:38:07

Thank you everyone, typically the houses that I like are further afield as you get more for your money if you are not in the centre of town!

Wow - the catchment area is small and looks like it might shrink further with the new housing developments.

I think we will end up doing the commute to Cambridge for secondary school if catchment is that tight.

JennyWren1234 Wed 08-Jun-16 00:00:48

If you are looking at Dame B's and possibly Cambridge for Secondary you might be interested to know that SPF run minibuses to/from SW to Babraham Road park and ride sites and also to SPF senior school. Pretty sure The Leys and The Perse also do (and possibly more).

luckyandconfused Wed 08-Jun-16 09:56:21

Thanks JennyWren1234 - we are definitely going to be joining Dame B's in September. Think we will be renting to begin with in order to get a good feel of what's what.

luckyandconfused Wed 08-Jun-16 14:27:09

I have just read a few more threads on Dame B's and some parents are happy with the merger (SPF) and some think the school has lost its touch - what does everyone else like and what are the pros and cons of the school?

Perilla Sat 11-Jun-16 14:25:42

Lucky I'm one of the parents who has been reasonably vocal about the less positive aspects of the merger over the last few years, apologies if it's concerned you a bit. I think the issue since it happened was that it was a time of huge upheaval (the head, deputy and a number of staff left over the first couple of years and the school was without a head for a year before the new one took up post). If you had older boys (so not eligible for SPF)/no more children to come through the school then the longer term benefits were hard to see for a very long time - it very much felt like we were getting the pain but no longer term gain.

That said, the change in the last year has been very positive - the new head has settled in well, brought in some excellent teachers (as someone else said on a thread the entrance exam results for the current Yr6 have been very very good). The investment in the school has been good too (new library, new dining room, better art facilities etc). If I were approaching it now as a prospective school I would probably look to send my child there. I should also emphasise that whilst as parents we've found the period of change incredibly frustrating at times, the teachers who have stayed/been brought in have all been great and our DC have never not been happy there.

Hopefully some of the newer parents will be able to give you reassurance.

Re housing/catchments/prices the County High is a huge draw and has probably played a part in the house price increase in town - it's the same kind of thinking as goes on in parts of London - if you can get into a great state school the money you save on school fees can go towards a house in the catchment of the excellent school.

Quite a few of the private schools in Cambridge do run buses from the P&Rs in town, there's also a whole mass of kids on the morning trains into Cambridge going to the different schools so plenty of kids do go into Cambridge for secondary. I presume you're aware the station isn't in town but at Audley End so 5-10 mins drive (or possibly more if you're on the far side of town),

Buttersideup Sat 11-Jun-16 15:19:20

looking for primary school recommendations. We are moving to cambridge and have free choice of where we live. DD starts school September 2017. Thanks!

Tingalingle Sun 12-Jun-16 07:01:15

I'd start your own thread, Butter, so more people see your message. Good luck!

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